American Indian Kids Face Some of the Greatest Challenges to Success
American Indian kids are struggling to access paths to opportunity, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s recently released Race for Results report.
The report found that — when compared to kids from other racial and ethnic groups — American Indian children are least likely to graduate high school on time, be connected to school or work as young adults, or earn an associate degree or higher.
More than half of American Indian children live in high poverty neighborhoods and 62% live in low-income families, according to the publication.
American Indian kids scored just 413 out of 1,000 in report’s Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. Only African-American children fared worse, earning a score of 369. By comparison, Asian and Pacific Islander children and white children both received an index score topping 700.
Our nation’s history mistreating people of color has helped fuel this inequity. American Indians have experienced genocide and forced removal from their lands. They’ve also been stripped of their language and culture in boarding schools and endured the disinvestment of their reservations. These actions and policies have created barriers for these children in accessing opportunity.
To help overcome systemic challenges, policies must work to give all children access to opportunity. This includes access to early childhood education that prepares kids for a successful academic career. It also includes ensuring that parents have access to good jobs and opportunities to obtain more skills.